Speculation continues to rage about U’s big target man Mandron’s future

Mikael Mandron, stretching to reach a cross against Yeovil last season. Picture: PAGEPIX

Mikael Mandron, stretching to reach a cross against Yeovil last season. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

It is perhaps surprising how much transfer speculation has surrounded Colchester United target man, Mikael Mandron, this summer.

Mandron had a good first season with the U’s, following his switch from Wigan Athletic last July, without ever taking League Two by storm as the Essex club limped to a 13th-placed finish.

The 23-year-old Frenchman did reach double figures for goals scored, netting 10 goals to finish three behind leading scorer Sammie Szmodics, but he did play 49 games (44 in the league), so scoring at a modest ratio of approximately one goal every five games.

Mandron has another year left on his contract – he signed a two-year deal last summer – and he will be looking to build on his first season during 2018-19, especially with recent signing Frank Nouble as a fellow front-man at the club.

But there remains a possibility of Mandron moving on, with Dutch club FC Utrecht the surprise latest team to join in the hunt to snap up the former Sunderland striker.

Reports suggest that FC Utrecht are hoping to pip a number of English clubs to lure Mandron away from the Community Stadium.

Mandron has already turned down a chance to join League One club Peterborough United this summer, but it seems that other clubs are eying him up.

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In addition to FC Utrecht, the Championship duo of Sheffield United and Millwall, plus League One outfit Portsmouth, have all been linked with Mandron.

It did look as though the big man would be joining Peterborough a few weeks ago, after the two clubs agreed a deal, only for Mandron to fail to agree personal terms with the London Road club.

Eredivisie side FC Utrecht are known to be aiming to recruit a big target man before next season, and Mandron’s physique would certainly fit the bill.

Much of his best work has been outside the penalty area, often when he has dropped deep to collect the ball or start attacking moves, although boss John McGreal was beginning to have joy in trying to encourage Mandron to spend more time in the opposition box. Whether he will still be with the U’s next term remains up in the air.

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